It’s done! The UPS Teamsters have voted overwhelmingly in favor of ratifying the new five-year collective bargaining agreement, marking a historic milestone for the union.
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The agreement received an unprecedented 86.3% support and is being hailed as a significant achievement in protecting and rewarding more than 340,000 UPS Teamsters across the nation.
All supplemental agreements were ratified as well, except for a single supplement in Florida covering 174 members. The union will immediately renegotiate outstanding issues in this supplement to ensure the national master agreement can go into effect, once this supplement is fully ratified.
This agreement is one of the most significant of its kind in the history of UPS, encompassing a comprehensive set of provisions aimed at elevating the well-being of UPS workers while ensuring essential workplace protections.
The multifaceted agreement addresses wage increases, job creation, enhanced working conditions, and more.
One of the most significant aspects of the labor contract is the substantial wage increases UPS Teamsters will receive. Full- and part-time workers will see their pay rise, with a $2.75 hourly increase set to take effect in 2023. Over the term of the five-year agreement, this will amount to $7.50 per hour.
Part-time UPS Teamsters are set to gain substantial improvements as well. Those currently earning less than $21 per hour will be raised to this minimum wage immediately, while part-time seniority workers will benefit from both market rate adjustments and new general wage increases. Over the contract’s duration, part-time workers will experience an extraordinary 48% average total wage increase.
The agreement solidifies UPS Teamsters’ status as the highest-paid delivery drivers in the nation, with full-timers receiving wage increases elevating their average top rate to an impressive $49 per hour.
Furthermore, existing part-time workers will receive longevity wage hikes of up to $1.50 per hour, on top of new hourly raises, compounding their earnings.
Equally significant are the measures introduced to enhance safety and health protections for UPS Teamsters. Addressing a longstanding concern, the contract ensures the provision of vehicle air conditioning and cargo ventilation.
All larger delivery vehicles, sprinter vans, and package cars purchased after January 1, 2024, will be equipped with in-cab air conditioning. While current vehicles will be updated with fans, heat exhaust shields, and air induction vents in cargo compartments to enhance overall safety and comfort.
Extra Holiday and Part-Timer Flexibility
Other commendable provisions include granting UPS Teamsters Martin Luther King Day as a full holiday for the first time and putting an end to forced overtime on drivers’ scheduled days off.
Part-time workers will also enjoy priority in performing seasonal support work using their own vehicles, backed by an eight-hour guarantee. The creation of 7,500 new full-time jobs and the fulfillment of 22,500 open positions further solidifies the opportunities for part-timers to transition to full-time roles.
Best UPS Labor Agreement Ever
Teamsters General President Sean M. O’Brien expressed his enthusiasm, stating, “Our members just ratified the most lucrative agreement the Teamsters have ever negotiated at UPS. This contract will improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of workers.”
Fred Zuckerman, Teamsters General Secretary-Treasurer, echoed this sentiment, asserting that this contract embodies more gains than any previous UPS agreement, with no concessions made.
The approval of this historic contract underscores the significance of collective bargaining power and serves as a model for fair pay, workplace protections, and overall betterment of workers, the union said.
As the UPS Teamsters National Master Agreement takes effect, the union believes it stands as a testament to the relentless efforts of the Teamsters Union and its commitment to securing a brighter and more secure future for its members.
O’Brien also sent a warning shot at Amazon in the announcement of the approved UPS agreement, asserting, “This is the template for how workers should be paid and protected nationwide, and nonunion companies like Amazon better pay attention.”
This confrontation with Amazon is not unfamiliar territory for O’Brien and the Teamsters. Last year, the union established an ‘Amazon Division’ and this year claimed to have organized a few workers in California, although the situation appears more complex.
It even held a rally outside the giant online retailer’s Seattle offices, urging Amazon to cease its union-busting tactics and improve its labor practices.
The Teamsters remain vigilant about Amazon. However, the company seems to view the Teamsters’ efforts as an annoyance rather than a substantial challenge to their business model. Could that change?
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